A Texas father has been charged after his two-month-old daughter was discovered with 25 broken bones.
According to People Crime, Joel Ortiz Rodriguez Jr., was charged with injury to a child which is a state jail felony. His arrest stems from the hospitalization of the infant in October last year. Doctors at the Dell Children’s Medical Center had called police after seeing the extensive injuries the two-month-old girl had suffered. Her injuries included broken ribs, a broken pelvis, a fractured wrist, a cut under her tongue, and widespread bruises.
Doctors would later tell police that the child had “25 different bone breaks” to her ribs, arms, and legs. Over 17 fractures were immediately identified when the infant was hospitalized. Four more fractures were discovered later. The doctors said the baby’s bone injuries were “both acute and healing,” adding that tests showed that her enzymes had elevated which is usually “associated with trauma to the internal organs.”
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The Texas dad told police that he got “frustrated” with taking care of the child and got “too aggressive” because she always crying. According to him, one time he held his infant daughter so tightly that “he heard bones pop in her chest and back area.”
The father also said another time that he got frustrated was when the child was crying and refused to take the bottle. The baby was lying on the couch when Rodriguez crushed the baby with his full body weight and then pushed her away from him. However, in later statements he has said he “never meant to hurt the victim.”
Police interviewed the mother who admitted that she noticed “a crunching sound in her daughter’s ribs” but she linked it “to her daughter growing.” The baby’s mother admitted that she noticed the bruising “but didn’t think it was anything.” The mother revealed that she worked full-time and went to school. The pair does not live together. The 20-year-old man was trying to gain custody of the infant.
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An Austin spokeswoman said the 20-year-old father had not been taken into custody, revealing that the child’s hospitalization and the issuing of a warrant would be preceded by a detailed investigation.
“As with any child abuse investigation, we have to be as thorough as possible and collect all the necessary information, which can take some time. We will continue to work these cases diligently in order to be effective at keeping safe.”
After learning that he had been charged for the child’s extensive injuries, Joel Rodriguez agreed to speak to KXAN and has insisted that it was not his intention to physically hurt his child. However, the Texas dad confessed that he needed to be better when it came to controlling his emotions. The 20-year-old man said he had no idea that the child had broken bones.
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“I just needed to control my emotions right then and there…I didn’t think that they [police] would take it like I did it intentionally to break her bones. We never realized there was actually any broken bones…We should have realized the injuries when she was crying and wasn’t eating. We should have known that there was something wrong…Twenty-five broken bones, I would never do that to her.”
Joel Rodriguez had been looking to gain custody and do better than the once a week visits he was currently getting. According to him, he had been meeting with a parenting coach, buying clothes for his daughter and baby-proofing his home pending when he got custody. A Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about Rodriguez’s claims that he was going to get custody of the infant. The child is presently with Child Protective Services.
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